Post Office Ltd prepares to enter mobile phone market
The UK’s Post Office Ltd is set to enter the mobile phone market this autumn, in partnership with network provider EE. The state-owned company will begin offering mobile phones through 50 Post Office branches, over the phone and via the website, before rolling the products out to post offices across the country.
Post Office Ltd said it would aim to challenge the established providers by offering value for money and by avoiding the kind of “complex” offers that rivals in the mobile market offer.
The move into the mobile market comes on the back of Post Office Ltd’s existing home phone and broadband services, which boast almost half a million customers.
Post Office Ltd said the new launch is part of an “ambitious vision” to grow its financial and home services business.
Martin George, the Post Office chief commercial officer, said his firm’s research suggested consumers were looking for better value in mobile phone products.
“We believe we are in an ideal position to offer a genuine alternative,” he said.
“Launching our own mobile service, using EE’s network, is a significant milestone in the Post Office’s journey of change and a testament to our continuing efforts to offer more essential services for our customers.”
Post Office Ltd said its mobile phone service would involve it becoming a virtual network operator — buying access to the existing mobile communications network of partner EE, rather than setting up its own physical mobile phone communications infrastructure. The model is used by other postal services around the world including Poste Italiane and Brazil Post.
Handsets and customer services will be provided through the national network of UK post offices.
George said: “Our network of over 11,500 branches combined with our online, and call centre presence, gives us the perfect platform to become one of the most credible providers of mobile services in the market.”